Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - August 25, 2008

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leguminous deer-resistant groundcover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help me identify a deer-resistant leguminous ground cover native to Central Texas to serve as a guard plant in edible-plant groupings.

ANSWER:

You will find a list of Deer Resistant native plants, many of which are native to Central Texas, on our Recommended Species page. The following leguminous (Family Fabaceae) plants grow in Travis and Williamson Counties and could qualify as groundcovers when they are present. Most of them, however, do not persist after they have bloomed and set seed. If you want a persistent deer-resistant member of the Family Fabaceae to surround your edible plants, perhaps you could ring it with small Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) plants.

Dalea aurea (golden prairie clover)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna)

Senna roemeriana (twoleaf senna)

There are many other non-leguminous choices. For example, deer rarely eat members of the Family Lamiaceae (mint family) and there are several attractive grasses as well that deer do not browse. Here are a few suggestions:

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Golden dalea
Dalea aurea

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Twoleaf senna
Senna roemeriana

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Wright's skullcap
Scutellaria wrightii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

More Deer Resistant Questions

Using Sound to Repel Deer
July 15, 2013 - We have several motion activated water scarecrows for deer intrusions and have heard about sound scarecrows. Do you know if they are effective and do they bother pets such as cats, birds, etc.?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
November 19, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the d...
view the full question and answer

Protection of redwoods from deer rutting
June 04, 2008 - We have a mountain home that we visit every other weekend. Are there any methods to protect redwoods from deer rutting that we can put in place since we are not there enough to spray repellent every f...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, deer resistant native plants for Austin
April 24, 2011 - Are there any evergreen, deer resistant native plants that thrive in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Is Ruellia deer resistant
June 19, 2008 - Is Ruellia deer resistant? I have white Ruellia, 18 -20 inches tall.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.